Expert Picks

Here’s What Our Culture Experts Are Doing in October—And You Should, Too!

Opera with a view! Sensual sculptures! Pizza galore! Here’s what we’re doing through Halloween.

Photo courtesy the artist and Frith Street Gallery

The days may be getting shorter, but that’s not stopping your social calendar. Save the date for an eclectic jazz residency, a 24-hour theater marathon, some schmaltzy storytelling, and the season’s most significant museum reopening.


“Surrounds” at MoMA, opening October 21

Famously intimate, surreal, interactive works of art by some of the industry’s most influential living artists are featured side by side in this series of exhibitions, debuting just in time for the Museum of Modern Art’s return after a months-long closure. Each work, ranging in size from largely imposing to compact, explores the artist’s relationship with finding intimacy in the world’s enormity. Ross Tipograph, performance expert

Photo by Seber Ugarte and Lorena López/Courtesy the artists and Luhring Augustine, New York.
“Alina Szapocnikow” at Hauser & Wirth, opening October 29

A few years back in L.A., I went to the Hammer Museum not knowing anything about its current exhibition but trusting its curation. I’m so glad I did, because the museum introduced me to the brilliance that is Szapocnikow. A sculptor from Poland, she made lumpy, sensual sculptures that dealt with haunting memories of her past. She was a concentration camp- and cancer survivor, which are experiences she drew from to explore how we live with memory, time, and our bodies. Molly Surno, art expert 


Robert Glasper Residency at Blue Note, begins October 3

Pianist Glasper has become one of the most marketable names in modern jazz, capable of packing large clubs not only across NYC but also internationally. A lot of his appeal as an artist comes from both an amazingly diverse set list and his consistently emotive and virtuosic playing, but—when there’s a lot of seats to sell—he’s also proven willing and able to dip into his Rolodex for top-tier guest musicians. That’s what he’s done for this monthlong residency at the Blue Note, where he’ll be joined by Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def); bassist Esperanza Spalding; R&B singer Luke James; and rapper T3 of the influential Detroit hip-hop band Slum Village. John Seroff, music expert

Photo courtesy of Robert Glasper/Facebook
Jacolby Satterwhite’s You’re at Home at Pioneer Works, opens October 4

Part ’90s-inspired record store, part digital media exhibition, visual artist Satterwhite turns Pioneer Works into his own launching pad to debut his new collaborative project with Teengirl Fantasy’s Nick Weiss: a double LP album and book titled Love Will Find a Way Home. Molly Surno, art expert 

Photo courtesy of Pioneer Works/Facebook
Sleater-Kinney at Kings Theatre, October 30 and 31

After 25 years recording as an off-again-on-again trio, seminal riot grrrl band Sleater-Kinney cut their most recent and presciently titled LP—2019’s The Center Won’t Hold, produced by fellow indie rocker St. Vincent—shortly before longtime drummer Janet Weiss quit the group. Now a duo supported by touring musicians, founding guitarists Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein (of Portlandia) continue to buoy S-K, one of America’s longest running and most beloved punk bands. John Seroff, music expert


Schmaltzy Storytelling and Tasting at Highline Stages, October 13

Conveniently held right before Sukkot, the nonprofit Jewish Food Society is hosting one of the New York Food & Wine Festival’s most intimate events. An all-star cast of Jewish food mavens come together for a night of noshing and camaraderie all in the name of supporting two vital organizations, Food Bank for New York City and No Kid Hungry.Molly Surno, art expert 

Photo courtesy of New York City Wine & Food Festival
This Used to Be a Cemetery at James J. Walker Park, October 19

Fun fact: The streets you’re walking on might also be graves! Sounds creepy, but thank urban planning for that. Expert cemetery guide Allison C. Meier leads you through lower Manhattan to dig up lost history just in time for peak Halloween. Molly Surno, art expert 


New York Pizza Festival in the Bronx, October 5 and 6

Mangia! The city’s (and world’s) top pizzaiolos are shutting down Arthur Avenue for a weekend filled with world-class slices and pies. Mamma mia, that’s a whole lotta pizza! —Jess Bender, dining and drinking expert

Photo courtesy of New York Pizza Festival/Facebook
Sean Brock at the Bell House, October 15

Brock has already made a name for himself Down South, winning two James Beard Awards for his work at his restaurant, Husk. Now he’s set to expand his star power across the country, starting with the Bell House during an intimate night with Food + Wine editor Kat Kinsman. Splurge on some VIP tickets and you’ll get a copy of Brock’s new cookbook along with an invite to a preshow heritage ham tasting. —Jess Bender, dining and drinking expert

Photo courtesy of HSean Brock/Facebook


The Second Woman at BAM, October 18

One actress performs the same scene 100 times—each time with a different male actor—in this 24-hour theatrical show suitable for audiences who can endure long performances. Inspired by the experimental John Cassavetes classic ’70s film Opening Night, this is making its Brooklyn debut at Next Wave 2019. Ross Tipograph, performance expert

Photo courtesy of BAM/Facebook
The Turn of the Screw at Wave Hill, October 25–27

On-Site Opera presents a site-specific theater version of the classic lit-based tale. Roam the gothic grounds and follow the governess and her kids as the story unfolds in several locations, overlooking dramatic views of the Hudson River. Ross Tipograph, performance expert

Photo courtesy of On-Site Opera

Get more NYC culture recommendations on our mobile app. The city, curated just for you.